We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information.
Please share what you can so you can help your peers.
Our licensing is based on a yearly subscription. That is an additional cost, but because of the storage efficiencies that the NetApp gives, even with the additional cost of the NetApp license, you still end up saving money versus straight Azure native for storage. It's definitely worth it.
We have an annual license renewal for all the clusters. The license comes with annual training and with some Professional Services time. We have used all of those. I'm not sure if that's standard or it's an agreement between our organization and NetApp, but that's what we get as a part of our licensing. The money you can save with CVO depends on what type of configuration an organization needs. They can also push all the data down to the cold tier. The pricing model for the Azure Cool Blob offering is pretty low compared to the premium or the standard. The cost of cold storage would probably be 10 cents per GB.
We don't think it's that expensive when compared to what we were paying for the previous vendor. This is less expensive. Pricing is good.
Some flexibility around the licensing model would help. The product is licensed based on capacity. Basically, the largest capacity license that you can buy is 368 terabytes. At this point, NetApp is addressing some people's concerns around this. I can stack licenses, e.g., two, three, or more 368 terabyte licenses can be stacked. However, I would like to see some more flexibility because you can't remove disks that you added from Azure. You would need to delete a whole disk group. When you have highly utilized Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems, you can get into a situation where you can't remove disks. This is something that I run into, so you need some flexibility with the licensing. NetApp could perhaps allow temporary bursts of capacity on the 368 terabytes. For example, if I'm rearranging my disk groups or disk aggregates, then I could add to the existing capacity and move my data around within the system to optimize capacity, costs, and performance. After that, I could migrate off the set of disks that the appliance is using currently, move data around, and delete the original source, but still stay under the 368 terabyte capacity. However, to do that data movement, a couple of sets of disks have to be assigned. At the same time, you might temporarily exceed that 368 terabyte limit. Therefore, that is something that could potentially be improved. I understand why there is a cutoff. Because if you're licensed for 368 terabytes, you should be using 368 terabytes. However, keeping in line with the elastic nature of cloud and flexibility of the cloud, some bursting of that 368 terabyte license capacity should be allowed. I think that would a good idea.
They give us a good price for CVO licenses. It is one of the reasons that we went with the product.
If a customer is only using, say, less than 10 terabytes, I don't think CVO would be a good option. A customer using at least 100 or 200 terabytes should get a reasonable price from NetApp. Because we have been a NetApp customer for a long time I think we do get some discounts when we buy this solution from NetApp on a large scale, although I am not involved with the pricing side.
Choose your disk type properly. Go with the slowest, cheapest disk you can. If you need bigger, faster ones then go for them. They've got a variety of license schemes. The one we've gone for is where we pay NetApp once a year. They call it the Bring Your Own license scheme. There is a by-the-hour or by-the-month basis from AWS and you can get it that way as well and be billed through AWS. But you may not get the same level of discounts that you would if you were dealing with NetApp directly. If you are committed to having a client filer for an extended period, then go with the NetApp licensing model rather than the AWS-provisioned one. Ultimately, the more data you save, the more it costs you, because you're paying AWS for the capacity. NetApp is licensed per filer, but there are additional running costs that are paid to AWS. You pay AWS' hosting fee for an EC2 instance, and each one of the disks within the NetApp is EBS storage and you pay AWS for those. There is potential to save money by moving things off to object storage. The only cost savings we see on it is against having to buy physical hardware.
Licensing seems pretty straightforward and then we just pay for the EC2 costs. Pricing brings up another point in terms of room for improvement. If they could provide some insights into how we could optimize the cost of Cloud Volumes ONTAP in our cloud, that would be great. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees. It's the same as what they showed us in the initial deployment.
They have a very good price which keeps our customers happy. Once we deploy the pay as you go model, we cannot convert this product as a BYOL model. This is a concern that we have. We would like NetApp to come up with a solution for this. For example, a customer may think, "Let's use this solution." Later, he realizes that, "This is our solution and I have this budget for the year. If we can pay upfront for one year, then we can reduced the amount we pay." This is currently not possible if we select the pay as you go model. Your OCCM should always be the same as your ONTAP, e.g., suppose you have deployed one ONTAP, then due to some reason, you deleted it and also OCCM. Then, the next time that you want to deploy another OCCM and ONTAP, that same license won't work because the license is based on the OCCM serial ID.
Our licensing costs are folded into the hardware purchases and I have never differentiated between the two.
It has not reduced our cloud cost. We're still pretty new and we're still trying to figure things out like how the cost modeling works and which is the best performance and best cost for our workloads. Based on that, it's a lot of tuning. Once you get there, you just need to monitor your workloads and see how it is and just go from there. For NetApp it's about $20,000 for a single node and $30,000 for the HA.
Cost is a big factor, because a lot of companies can't afford enterprise grade equipment all the time. They skimp where they can. I would recommend that they improve the cost.
Cloud is cloud. It's still expensive. Any good solution comes with a price tag. That's where we are looking to see how well we can manage our data in the cloud by trying to optimize the costs. I do know our licensing cost to some extent, but not fully. E.g., I don't know overall how much we have gone over the budget or where did we put costs down just to maintain licensing on it. That part of it, I don't know. I know the licensing is a bit on the high-end. That's when we had to downsize our MetroCluster disks and just migrate to disks that were half used. We migrated into those just to reduce maintenance costs.
The standard pricing is online. Pricing depends. If you're using the PayGo model, then it's just the normal costs on the Microsoft page. If you're using Bring Your Own License, which is what we're doing, then you get with your sales contact at NetApp and start figuring out what price is the best, in the end, for your company. We have an Enterprise Agreement or something similar to that. So we get a different price for it. In terms of additional costs beyond the standard licensing fees, you have to run instances in Azure, virtual machines and disks. You still have to pay for the Azure disks, and Blob Storage if you're using tiering. What's also important is to know is the network bandwidth. That was the most complicated part in our project, to figure out how much data would be streamed out of our data center into the cloud and how much data would have to be sent back into our data center. It's more challenging than if you have a customer who is running only in Azure. It can be expensive if you don't have an eye on it.
In addition to the standard licensing fees, there are fees for Azure, the VMs themselves and for data transfer. The DR environment is billed by the hour and paid to Azure directly and NetApp is paid on a yearly license.
We've been working with NetApp on pricing. They allow a special price if you are working closely with them. Since we have a lot of NetApp systems, we got some kind of discount. That's something they do for other customers, not just for us. The price was fair. In addition to the licensing fees, you're paying Amazon for your usage, the instances, the storage. It's using EBS drives or S3 buckets. So there are all the Amazon fees that you usually have. But overall, we compared the price we have with NetApp and the price for going with DFS and there was a difference, but it was worth the performance, stability, and to have the capabilities NetApp has for doing backups. All these features are covered.
El trato con el vendedor era aceptable; El precio es razonable. Los recursos adquiridos con esta herramienta valen el costo.
We purchased the product directly from NetApp.
Purchasing through the AWS Marketplace was good, but it was a test system, not a real purchase. We went through the AWS Marketplace because we were testing the product and have not evaluated the pricing yet.
Purchasing this solution through the AWS Marketplace was simple, which was why our organization chose to go through it. The AWS consumer-based pricing model makes it easy for developers to use their credit cards to spin up virtual servers immediately. Compared to other storage vendors, NetApp, is not always able to compete with their pricing. Yet, we acknowledge the ease of use ONTAP brings with the AWS integration.
What do you like most about NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!